2012 past exhibitions
Ngā whakaaturanga 2012

Past exhibitions that opened in 2012 – from Buller's Birds: The art of Keulemans and Buchanan to Uniformity: Cracking the code.

On this page:
A Fashionable Line: The other life of Kate Coolahan
Kahu Ora | Living Cloaks

Walter Cook: A collector's quest
Michael Parekowhai, Colin McCahon, Jim Allen
Buller’s Birds: The art of Keulemans and Buchanan
Uniformity: Cracking the dress code
Angels & Aristocrats: Early European art in New Zealand public collections
Deep NZ: Our underwater wilderness
Game Masters: The exhibition

 

A Fashionable Line: The other life of Kate Coolahan

Dates: 8 Mar 2012 – 26 Aug 2012
Cost: Free entry

In the 1950s and 60s, Kate Coolahan blazed a trail through New Zealand’s advertising world as a fashion illustrator. Her modish designs seduced men and women alike into buying the latest styles.

Few people today are aware of Coolahan’s contributions to the advertising arena. In New Zealand art circles, she is better known for her prints and paintings, made later in her career.

This exhibition uncovered Coolahan’s ‘other life’, during the Mad Men era of fashion. It featured works selected from her personal archive, revealing a talent overdue for recognition.

’Maison Noisette - In Love with summer?’ - front cover, 1967, New Zealand, by Maison Noisette Limited, Kate Coolahan. Te Papa (CA000478/003/0006/0001)

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’Maison Noisette - In Love with summer?’ - front cover, 1967, New Zealand, by Maison Noisette Limited, Kate Coolahan. Te Papa (CA000478/003/0006/0001)

Kahu Ora | Living Cloaks

Dates: 8 Jun 2012 – 22 Oct 2012
Cost: Free entry

Kahu Ora showcased the world’s largest collection of kākahukākahu Māori cloaks cloaks, among the most precious taongataonga treasures to Māori and stunning in their artistry and diversity. The exhibition included a live weavers’ studio, the world’s only remaining cloak stitched from whole dog skins, a cloak with over 12,000 feathers, and a contemporary art installation by Maureen Lander.

Learn more about the world’s largest collection of kākahukākahu Māori cloaks from their origins to their ongoing importance:
Kākahu | Māori Cloaks

Arieta Sciascia wearing kahu kuri. Te Papa

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Atareta Sciascia wearing kahu kuri. Te Papa

Walter Cook: A collector’s quest

Dates: 21 Jul 2012 – 6 Mar 2016
Cost: Free entry

Between 1965 and 1990, Wellingtonian Walter Cook built up an extensive collection of British and European ceramics, metalwork, and glassware. The collection, which he donated to Te Papa in 1992, reflects the story of modern design in the decorative arts between 1860 and 1970.

Walter Cook: A collector’s quest looked into how and why Cook developed the collection, and explores the origins and social contexts of the pieces in New Zealand.

Michael Parekowhai, Colin McCahon, Jim Allen

Dates: 25 Aug 2012 – 23 Sep 2012
Cost: Free entry

A special one-month programme to coincide with the showing of Michael Parekowhai’s 54th Venice Biennale 2011 exhibition On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer. The exhibition featured He Kōrero Pūrākau mo te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river, an extraordinary and ornately carved red Steinway grand piano that was played daily.

Showed alongside Parekowhai’s works were four paintings by Colin McCahon and three installations by Jim Allen, selected from Te Papa’s art collection.

He Korero Purakau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river, 2011, Auckland, by Michael Parekowhai. Purchased 2011, with the assistance of the Friends of Te Papa. Te Papa (2011-0046-1/A-N to N-N)

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He Korero Purakau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river, 2011, Auckland, by Michael Parekowhai. Purchased 2011, with the assistance of the Friends of Te Papa. Te Papa (2011-0046-1/A-N to N-N)

Buller’s Birds: The art of Keulemans and Buchanan 

Dates: 30 Aug 2012 – 27 Jan 2013
Cost: Free entry

A History of the Birds of New Zealand, published in 1872–73, is the most famous book on New Zealand native birds. It brought together the knowledge and passion of ornithologist Sir Walter Buller with the exceptional talent of Dutch artist J G Keulemans. A second edition was published in 1888. A more affordable edition, The Manual of the Birds of New Zealand (1882), included finely detailed wood engravings by artist and botanist John Buchanan.

This exhibition showcased the illustrations that Keulemans and Buchanan produced for Buller's series of books. It also included specimens from Buller's collection. The exhibition included bird skins, together with wood engravings that Buchanan made from drawings of the skins, and mounted birds, including a pair of highly prized and now-extinct huia.

Morepork (Ruru) and Laughing owl (Whekau) (Spiloglaux Novae Zealandiae/ Sceloglaux albifacies)., 1872, London, by Johannes Keulemans. Acquisition history unknown. Te Papa (1992-0035-1093/3)

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Morepork (Ruru) and Laughing owl (Whekau) (Spiloglaux Novae Zealandiae/ Sceloglaux albifacies)., 1872, London, by Johannes Keulemans. Acquisition history unknown. Te Papa (1992-0035-1093/3)

Uniformity: Cracking the dress code

Dates: 27 Sep 2012 – 28 Jul 2013
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition explored the meanings and origins of uniforms from the battlefield to the sports field, the church to the catwalk, the schoolyard to the street. It offered a close-up look at the combat dress worn by Corporal Willie Apiata, VC in the deserts of Afghanistan. Visitors could see the heavenly attire of a Catholic priest alongside the down-to-business suit of Brian Tamaki.

Even the educational television programme Play School (1972–90)made an appearance, through Big Ted’s ‘police bear’ outfit. A range of T-shirts were on display expressing ideas as uniforms do, particularly messages of protest.

Gordon Highlanders uniform, 1880s-1950s, London, by Hebbert & Co. Ltd.. Gift of Mrs Beatrice Simpkins, 1971. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (PC001695)

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Gordon Highlanders uniform, 1880s-1950s, London, by Hebbert & Co. Ltd. Gift of Mrs Beatrice Simpkins, 1971. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (PC001695)

Angels & Aristocrats: Early European art in New Zealand public collections

Dates: 20 Oct 2012 – 27 Jan 2013
Cost: Admission charges

An Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki touring exhibition
Curated by Mary Kisler, Senior Curator, Mackelvie Collection, International Art

Angels & Aristocrats showcased five centuries of European art, drawn from New Zealand’s finest public collections. The works were explored in four sections:

  • religious art
  • narrative and genre
  •  landscapes
  • and portraiture.

This major exhibition featured paintings by Brueghel the Younger, Hobbema, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Turner, and many more. Subjects ranging from the Madonna and Child to the hurly-burly of village fairs were covered through the exhibition – opening a window onto the lives of people of every class.

Deep NZ: Our underwater wilderness

Dates: 30 Nov 2012 – 30 Nov 2014
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition showcased research findings from Te Papa, NIWA, and GNS Science. Research carried out by these institutions is vital to learn more about the mysterious underwater world and ensure its sustainable management. The sea in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone covers more than 4 million square kilometres, yet less than one percent has been closely studied – a mere drop in the ocean.

The deep sea ranges from 200 metres to more than 10,000 metres. Light fades as you descend, becoming too dim for plants to survive, and below 1,000 metres darkness prevails. The water is generally bitterly cold, but in some areas, volcanic vents release super-heated water. Animals have adapted to these extreme conditions in amazing ways – see these amazing animal adaptations in Deep NZ: Our underwater wilderness puts these amazing animal adaptations.

Game Masters: The exhibition

Dates: 15 Dec 2012 – 28 Apr 2013
Cost: Admission charges

Featuring more than 100 playable games, this exhibition showcased the work of the world’s most influential videogame designers including Peter Molyneux, Warren Spector, Tim Schafer, Hideo Kojima, and more. Covering arcade, console, PC and mobile gaming, it offered games from the 1970s through to the present.

Visitors had the opportunity to experience and explore rare original game artwork, revealing interviews with game designers, and large-scale interactive displays.

Entrance to Game Masters exhibition, 2012. Photograph by Kate Whitley. Te Papa

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Entrance to Game Masters exhibition, 2012. Photograph by Kate Whitley. Te Papa